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Tonichi Sanvictores
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First-time poster to this forum.

I've been working on this design on and off for about 2 years now. Hunters are going around the map, capturing creatures using dice, and upgrading the dice through a simple market mechanic. There is an opportunity for trading and very little take-that. Creatures are turned in by sets to gain Honor points, but these points are also the primary currency of the game. Creatures can also be discarded to be used for their special ability (which, of course, negates them being used for points). Most Honor points wins when the deck runs out (32 creatures) wins.

I want the game to be around 60-90 mins long, but given the summary of a round, it seems it will take longer. Tension will come from deciding how to spread out your Hunters to gain control of areas (which lets you attempt captures) vs consistently being able to capture creatures (more Hunters means better chances).

Round summary
Move Hunters (Starts with First Player then on to the next, etc.)
Capture Creatures (Starting with Area 1, all through 12)
Take Royal Actions (If there are allocated Hunters here)
- Recruit Hunters
- Pray to the gods
- Release a Creature
- Go to Market
Award (Turn in Creature sets)
Trade (Swap dice upgrades and creatures)
Refresh (Hand limit, Upgrade limit, Creature limit, Replenish creatures)

Please help me streamline?

<Game Blurb>
Rajah Alon, the King of Tondo, is thirsty for knowledge. Hungry to learn more about the strange animals that inhabit his newly conquered lands, the Rajah has called upon the finest hunters to catch them and bring them to him. You control a team of such hunters on a mission to capture the most exquisite of these creatures and win the Rajah’s favor.

Overview
Rajah Alon's Hunt is an area majority and set collection game in pre-colonial Philippines for 2-5 players. Each player controls a team of hunters searching the landscape for strange and exotic animals to bring back to the Rajah. Players compete for control in each area to capture these creatures. To win the game, players must balance the movement of hunters, the pursuit of creatures, and the unpredictable conditions of the hunt.

Link to rules:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ea3H0TRrjgQUR2MqPFo83-GQ...
(Feel free to comment in-document)

Link to existing images:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bzko9NLWTx3WWVZtZjZ2R3hBdD...
(Everything is placeholder art.)
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Bojan Prakljacic
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Ouch, that's a lot to do during one turn. I can only imagine a downtime. XD
Those Royal actions, does players do only one of them during their turn, or more?
As I see, there are 6 phases during the turn, and one of them is taking an action. Right?

Maybe you should split those to seasons. Hunters hunt one season, and later go to market to sell skins or whatever... Concentrate on hunting and traps laying one season, and then the market phases in next season. That's how it works in real life also, I think.

Least to do during one season, so downtime is smaller.
Then market time and goods pushing season.

Because, right now, as I see this game, its like:
-What are you doing now?
- I'm cleaning my traps.
- Alright, I'll go to buy some groceries, will be back just in time for a trade phase. Mentions me in your prayers to god, will ya?

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Tonichi Sanvictores
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Thanks for the comments!

8Oj4N wrote:
Ouch, that's a lot to do during one turn. I can only imagine a downtime. XD
Those Royal actions, does players do only one of them during their turn, or more?
As I see, there are 6 phases during the turn, and one of them is taking an action. Right?


The game is structured in rounds. In each round, everyone gets to do stuff.

For example...
Move. First player moves Hunters, then the next player does, so on until the last.
Capture. Resolve each area (there are 12) if captures are successful (via dice rolling). Some areas will resolve, some will not. Some players will do the capturing because they have control, some will just watch. This might be the only "downtime" really.
Royal Actions. Recruit/Pray (basically worker placement. If you have Hunters, you get something.) -- simultaneous. Market. Buy stuff in player order. Trade, no strict rules.
Award. In turn order, turn in combinations.
Refresh. Basically board/card maintenance to prepare for the next round.

It's much like how I imagine Dune works, round-wise.

8Oj4N wrote:
Maybe you should split those to seasons. Hunters hunt one season, and later go to market to sell skins or whatever... Concentrate on hunting and traps laying one season, and then the market phases in next season. That's how it works in real life also, I think.


I'll think about this, though this might be a new game.
 
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D M
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Do you have (or could you compose) any shots of the game in play? Pieces on the boards and mats? Even if you don't caption everything, it will go along way towards helping one get the feel of the experience, take wild, biased, and ill-informed (but not completely invalid) guesses in terms of prioritizing en route to a streamlined product.
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Dimitri Sirenko
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i have to agree with Bojan
seems like a round is packed with things to do and it is turn based so it could take a pretty long time. Could you potentially make simultaneous gameplay? Everyone ventures out at the same time no turns. Everyone captures a creature.. and so on
 
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Bojan Prakljacic
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You know what could be the problem? That part where Capture critter is resolved by dice rolling. There are 12 spaces, so, theoretically in the late phases of the game each player could have multiple hunters controlling multiple spots, which means they have to roll for every spot while others wait for them to finish. That phase is FUBAR.

Better option would be if they all roll their dices simultaneously. But, my guess is, they can't do that since they have to apply the current die result to the current spot.

If you allow simultaneous dice roll, then they can choose where to place their 'wining results' and where to place 'losing result', which, maybe you don't want to have like that?

If I would design a game with hunting spots which you need to control, but also have to rely on luck to determine will that spot give me something or not, I would do it differently. No dices, for sure, because they are so RNG, even when you upgrade a die, you still can have 2 or 3 bad rolls from round to round, which would really set you back.

Instead of dices I would always have different type of animals per spot. Let's say, each spot will always have animal of one kind. One spot can have deer, other can have cougar, and so on... Then I would, by some mechanics, at the beginning of each round add additional random animals, to random spots. So, next time, on the spot where is deer, might come a bear also.
So, instead of relying on shear luck, you either set a specific trap for specific group of animals, or you send your hunter that will catch any animal for sure (no, rolls, no nothing). This way, players can either control a spot using traps (but, not a sure catch since you can't catch a deer and cougar in the same type of trap) or they can send hunter to gather that animal (dangerous animals could have some dice to maybe hurt your hunter etc). But, i digress, this is more like a new game...

There is a streamlined version of Capture phase you are having, but again it doesn't use dices, lol.

Each player check where his traps are set and what he can possibly catch there. He places in the bag cubes that represents animals he can gather on those spots that turn and add 2-1 black cubes (depending on the number of traps that are obsolete or half-upgraded, obsolete trap = 2 black cubes, half-upgraded trap = 1 cubes, superior trap = no cubes). If he has 5 traps, he reach in the bag and takes out 5 cubes. More shorter than rolling for each spot, and somewhat thematic. ''Hey, lets see what's in the bag (trap). Oh, look, I got 3 rabbits, one fox, and this trap didn't get me anything.''
So, if player upgrades his traps, on 3 spots he will catch 3 animals for sure, thing is, if one spot has a possibility for him to get a rabbit or pheasant, other has a fox and the wolf, and third has a duck or a rabbit, he will get some of them, randomly, but he will not finish empty handed.

Also, what 'pray to god' action is doing? Real hunters rely on their skills and tools, not god. That's the first thing I would remove. But, I am an atheist you know. :]
Releasing critter action also does nothing. Or does it?
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Tonichi Sanvictores
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Mosker wrote:
Do you have (or could you compose) any shots of the game in play? Pieces on the boards and mats? Even if you don't caption everything, it will go along way towards helping one get the feel of the experience, take wild, biased, and ill-informed (but not completely invalid) guesses in terms of prioritizing en route to a streamlined product.


No pics yet. I've been playing this in my head for sometime though. :|

I'll reply here as soon as I have some prints out.
 
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Tonichi Sanvictores
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Oh yeah, meaty comments! Thanks!

8Oj4N wrote:
You know what could be the problem? That part where Capture critter is resolved by dice rolling. There are 12 spaces, so, theoretically in the late phases of the game each player could have multiple hunters controlling multiple spots, which means they have to roll for every spot while others wait for them to finish. That phase is FUBAR.


This is a fair assessment. With 5 players, there might be 1 who won't do any capturing because he went first in allocating his Hunters so others could out-majority him.

8Oj4N wrote:
Better option would be if they all roll their dices simultaneously. But, my guess is, they can't do that since they have to apply the current die result to the current spot.

If you allow simultaneous dice roll, then they can choose where to place their 'wining results' and where to place 'losing result', which, maybe you don't want to have like that?


Sort of like Tiny Epic Galaxies? Then I'd need player shields and MOAR dice. Need to think about this.

8Oj4N wrote:
If I would design a game with hunting spots which you need to control, but also have to rely on luck to determine will that spot give me something or not, I would do it differently. No dices, for sure, because they are so RNG, even when you upgrade a die, you still can have 2 or 3 bad rolls from round to round, which would really set you back.

Instead of dices I would always have different type of animals per spot. Let's say, each spot will always have animal of one kind. One spot can have deer, other can have cougar, and so on... Then I would, by some mechanics, at the beginning of each round add additional random animals, to random spots. So, next time, on the spot where is deer, might come a bear also.
So, instead of relying on shear luck, you either set a specific trap for specific group of animals, or you send your hunter that will catch any animal for sure (no, rolls, no nothing). This way, players can either control a spot using traps (but, not a sure catch since you can't catch a deer and cougar in the same type of trap) or they can send hunter to gather that animal (dangerous animals could have some dice to maybe hurt your hunter etc). But, i digress, this is more like a new game...


I think you're right. Might be a good mechanic to put in another game. A previous version of the rules had something to this effect, but I was hooked on having creature cards, so the randomness came from which creature would be allocated to the space. If I wanted a type of creature to come out in a specific spot, I would need multiple decks of creatures, and that seems overkill at this point.

But, point taken.

8Oj4N wrote:
There is a streamlined version of Capture phase you are having, but again it doesn't use dices, lol.

Each player check where his traps are set and what he can possibly catch there. He places in the bag cubes that represents animals he can gather on those spots that turn and add 2-1 black cubes (depending on the number of traps that are obsolete or half-upgraded, obsolite trap = 2 black cubes, half-upgraded trap = 1 cubes, superior trap = no cubes). If he has 5 traps, he reach in the bag and takes out 5 cubes. More shorter than rolling for each spot, and somewhat thematic. ''Hey, lets see what's in the bag (trap). Oh, look, I got 3 rabbits, one fox, and this trap didn't get me anything.''
So, if player upgrades his traps, on 3 spots he will catch 3 animals for sure, thing is, if one spot has a possibility for him to get a rabbit or pheasant, other has a fox and the wolf, and third has a duck or a rabbit, he will get some of them, randomly, but he will not finish empty handed.


Pool building, with "bad" results. A neat idea! Now THIS I need to think about.

8Oj4N wrote:
Also, what 'pray to god' action is doing? Real hunters rely on their skills and tools, not god. That's the first thing I would remove. But, I am an atheist you know. :]
Releasing critter action also does nothing. Or does it?


Historically, the people of that time had religious practices around daily life --- Farming, Hunting, Health, etc. The "Pray to the gods" action was designed to have some help from the gods, and this is shown in the mechanic where the Hunters already "pre-earn" skills to use in capture attempts later in the game. Makes hunting less susceptible to bad rolls.

Releasing a critter earns a quick VP/Honor point, and prolongs the game though, since the creature goes back into the deck (instead of being discarded).


Keep em coming!
 
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Bojan Prakljacic
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Well, after reading your rule book and how the game goes, have you considered to limit the number of rounds. That would shorten the time needed to finish the game, if that is the problem.
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Tonichi Sanvictores
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Since you've gone through the rules, what do you think about making the Take Royal Actions a worker-placement segment? Might make that portion faster.

In this iteration, the Royal Grounds section would have 4 areas:
* Recruit (get more Hunters)
* Pray (get skills)
* Release creature (get Honor and Market item)
* Purchase (get Ability Tokens)

Players would then need to decide how many Hunters to allocate where.

(Thinking out loud --- this might need a higher starting count of Hunters.)
 
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Freelance Police
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As an Ameritrash player, I think you should play the game with others, and get feedback for the game. If players like the game, it doesn't matter how long it is.

IMO, Rolling dice is a big time waster, as dice have to be passed around, players have to count the dice, etc. etc. Several FFG games use a deck as a randomizer. As an exercise, design the game without dice. I've done that for a game I'm working on, and the results worked just fine.
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Bojan Prakljacic
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If you set all of your Royal actions on the board, (with maybe fixed number of available spots for hunters for certain actions, for balancing purposes), then it would go faster for sure. Players would just place their hunter tokens and move on.

But, really, reconsider the thing with too much dice rolling during the capture turn. It could became a cumbersome point of your game. All other things players can do during the phases are not involving any kind of RNG, and dice RNG is the worst kind in euro games.

I, know, someone will say ''What about Catan?!''
Well, there you could try something else if the dices are not fair to you.
And even with bad rolls you would get resources that you can use and trade.
Here, if you fail - no resources. I'm kinda worried that few bad rolls will mean I'll twiddle my thumbs while others will do some stuff.
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Tonichi Sanvictores
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Sam and Max wrote:
As an Ameritrash player, I think you should play the game with others, and get feedback for the game. If players like the game, it doesn't matter how long it is.


Yup, I'll be printing out the necessary files within the week and hopefully can playtest in the weekend.

Sam and Max wrote:
IMO, Rolling dice is a big time waster, as dice have to be passed around, players have to count the dice, etc. etc. Several FFG games use a deck as a randomizer. As an exercise, design the game without dice. I've done that for a game I'm working on, and the results worked just fine.


Fair enough. Bojan mentioned pulling cubes from a bag, and here you have a deck. Need to think about this further.

From a design perspective, I wanted to factor in the randomness of actually facing a creature in the wild and trying to capture it. No time for traps (though that's a good idea to include), but more about cornering it and stuffing in a bag/tying a noose around limbs/etc.
 
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8Oj4N wrote:
If you set all of your Royal actions on the board, (with maybe fixed number of available spots for hunters for certain actions, for balancing purposes), then it would go faster for sure. Players would just place their hunter tokens and move on.


Yeah, I was thinking of a mechanic similar to Steampunk Rally and Stone Age, I think they were.

8Oj4N wrote:
But, really, reconsider the thing with too much dice rolling during the capture turn. It could became a cumbersome point of your game. All other things players can do during the phases are not involving any kind of RNG, and dice RNG is the worst kind in euro games.

I, know, someone will say ''What about Catan?!''
Well, there you could try something else if the dices are not fair to you.
And even with bad rolls you would get resources that you can use and trade.
Here, if you fail - no resources. I'm kinda worried that few bad rolls will mean I'll twiddle my thumbs while others will do some stuff.


That's where the Unlock Die clause, the Unlock Die Ability Token, and the Pray to the Gods action come into play. You could (theoretically) mitigate bad rolls with proper "investments" in these areas.
 
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Bojan Prakljacic
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This is how I see it:

During your Capture phase each player can roll up to 3 dices and can do multiple re-rolls. There are mini-turns you can do during that turn. Your dices could get locked and make you fail the capture.

So, you have dices - RNG
Random cards drawn to random locations - RNG
you could, theoretically, not be able to hunt during your turn if two players gang-bang on you, so you don't have a control of the area (sitting it out that turn)

gulp

Can you tell me what kind of feedback are you getting from the play-tests?

I might not be getting a good picture about your game since I'm drawing conclusions just by reading a rule book, so I'm not bashing your game, I might be just ignorant, so don't get upset please.
But, some red bulbs are blinking in my head when looking at this negative possibilities that could happen.

You mentioned the Stone Age. I think, in that game there was one action where you could send your hunters to the plains where they had to roll dices to see will they get anything. And it was bad. Luckily, it was a risk taking mechanic you could undertake and still get something during a turn, since there were places where you can go and get resources for sure.
So, either have less resources, with a possibility to get some more with a dice roll (risk it), or not take the risk and go for sure taking of resources on other spots.
In your game, there is no that option, as I see it.

Correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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Tonichi Sanvictores
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8Oj4N wrote:
This is how I see it:

During your Capture phase each player can roll up to 3 dices and can do multiple re-rolls. There are mini-turns you can do during that turn. Your dices could get locked and make you fail the capture.

So, you have dices - RNG
Random cards drawn to random locations - RNG
you could, theoretically, not be able to hunt during your turn if two players gang-bang on you, so you don't have a control of the area (sitting it out that turn)

gulp


Yup, you have a pretty good idea of the sources of RNG in the game. I can see the potential trouble if collusion happens.

8Oj4N wrote:
Can you tell me what kind of feedback are you getting from the play-tests?

I might not be getting a good picture about your game since I'm drawing conclusions just by reading a rule book, so I'm not bashing your game, I might be just ignorant, so don't get upset please.
But, some red bulbs are blinking in my head when looking at this negative possibilities that could happen.


Hey, I'm thankful that you've taken much trouble in understanding this game. Please, keep the red bulbs blinking and tell me about them.

8Oj4N wrote:
You mentioned the Stone Age. I think, in that game there was one action where you could send your hunters to the plains where they had to roll dices to see will they get anything. And it was bad. Luckily, it was a risk taking mechanic you could undertake and still get something during a turn, since there were places where you can go and get resources for sure.
So, either have less resources, with a possibility to get some more with a dice roll (risk it), or not take the risk and go for sure taking of resources on other spots.
In your game, there is no that option, as I see it.

Correct me if I'm wrong.


I've drafted an alternate ruleset which, instead of dice, there is a "Capture deck" which has cards showing 1 or 2 skills (like "rolling" them), some special abilities, and a card stating that the capture is over ("Ferocious"). It's similar to the cards in Ticket to Ride mashed with Incan Gold. If the capture fails, players get to keep the cards they drew (increasing the chances they will be successful later on).

In case you're (still) interested, the adjusted ruleset is here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/14_RBF519SixS7hpmRxb52kbL...

On my end, I'll probably be arranging for playtests in the coming days to get a better idea of how the two rulesets differ in feel.
 
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Tonichi Sanvictores
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Sam and Max wrote:
As an Ameritrash player, I think you should play the game with others, and get feedback for the game. If players like the game, it doesn't matter how long it is.

IMO, Rolling dice is a big time waster, as dice have to be passed around, players have to count the dice, etc. etc. Several FFG games use a deck as a randomizer. As an exercise, design the game without dice. I've done that for a game I'm working on, and the results worked just fine.


Using a deck is a great idea.

I've drafted an alternate ruleset which, instead of dice, there is a "Capture deck" which has cards showing 1 or 2 skills (like "rolling" them), some special abilities, and a card stating that the capture is over ("Ferocious"). It's similar to the cards in Ticket to Ride mashed with Incan Gold. If the capture fails, players get to keep the cards they drew (increasing the chances they will be successful later on).

In case you're interested, the modified ruleset is here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/14_RBF519SixS7hpmRxb52kbL...

And yes, I think playtests are in order in the coming days.
 
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